Members of the Osun State All Progressives Congress loyal to the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, have said the state Governor, Gboyega Oyetola’s fight with them cost him his re-election.
Members of the faction, known as The Osun Progressives, spoke, in separate interviews with Punch.
Those who spoke with Punch included the Leader of TOP, Lowo Adebiyi; the Chairman of the Aregbesola’s faction of the APC, Mr Rasaq Salinsile and the factional Publicity Secretary, Abiodun Agboola,
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Sunday declared Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said Adeleke got a total of 403,371 votes to beat the incumbent governor who polled 375,027 votes in the keenly contested race.
Before his electoral loss, Oyetola, had in 2018 defeated Adeleke after a run-off, with the support of his predecessor, Aregbesola and former Lagos state governor and now, APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Shortly after winning the election, Oyetola, who was the Chief of Staff to Aregbesola for eight years, parted ways with the interior affairs minister and his loyalists, who alleged that the governor abandoned his predecessor’s programmes.
A former Osun State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs during Aregbesola’s administration, Kolapo Alimi, had in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on July 2 predicted that Oyetola would not win re-election for betraying Aregbesola’s trust, an allegation the governor denied.
Shedding light on the challenges which robbed the party of victory, the Chairman of the APC faction in Osun state, Salinsile, said it was obvious that the lack of unity in the party allegedly caused by “Oyetola’s politics of segregation” cost the APC victory at the poll.
Salinsile said he had seen the electoral defeat ahead of time and ran to party leaders, including the ex-national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, for help.
According to him, the APC presidential candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu, once sent an emissary to address their grievances but the person never returned to collect the complaint list.
He further said Oyetola should not have played politics of segregation or blacklisted anyone linked to Aregbesola.
The factional chairman stated, “But it is an obvious fact that Governor Isiaka Oyetola came to destroy our party. We all worked as a united family to install him as governor in spite of all odds. But the moment he got there, he started politics of segregation and divide and rule tactics which he thought he could use to whip everybody back in line; particularly, he was against anything Aregbesola.
“How on earth can you be a Chief of Staff to a sitting governor for good eight years and pretended to him to be what you were not. I have never met that kind of person in my life and I am not a young man.
“He was not yet sworn in when he started the segregation, politics of hatred. Anybody that have anything to do with the immediate past governor of the state, Aregbesola; automatically, you become one of the members in his black book.”
Speaking on how Oyetola allegedly mismanaged the party, Salinsile said, “How can the leader of a house behave that way and you think that house will be peaceful? We said it severally without mincing words so that those who have ears will hear. We went to our leaders starting with Baba Akande to the national chairman of the APC. Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) sent one Alhaji Masari from Katsina state to us; he was the place holder for the APC presidential candidate.
“He said our resolutions should be written down that he would come back the following day to collect it, saying Asiwaju gave him that assignment. Up till today, we have not seen him. He never came back. Three times, Oyetola sent words to me saying if he calls me will I pick his call? If he invites me, will I honour the invitation? And I said he was still my governor and that I owe him a lot of respect.
“Every time, he will always disappoint. He later said the matter was beyond his power. In whose power was it then? That means there is somebody somewhere remote-controlling him. This result was expected.”
On the way out, Salinsile said the party has been demolished, adding that the members would have to return to the drawing board.
“We now have to go to the drawing board and look for where we have erred and make amends. It was a very clear issue. It was Oyetola administration that brought calamity to our party. The remaining leaders must act now,” he admonished.
Words by Punch